Finding seats for the whole family on a busy train can be a bit of a hectic mission.
One mum has shared how she was travelling over New Years with her two children, both under 10, on a journey lasting seven hours.
When the three got on the train, they were feeling “tired” and “overwhelmed” so sat down in a few seats marked as reserved, as the train was pretty empty at this point.
She claims that for a while there was no problem, but eventually, some people came looking for the seats they’d booked.
Writing in a post on Reddit’s Am I The A**hole forum, the woman explained that she “stayed quiet” in hopes they could keep the seats, but ended up arguing with a man after he yelled at her daughter.
She said: “I was travelling down to visit my Uncle for new year who has been struggling with cancer and couldn’t spend time with the whole family during Christmas. I had to take the train with my two kids (ages 4 and 7) and it was a pretty last minute booking as we weren’t sure if me and the kids were going to be able to go.
“My kids were really tired and everything was a bit overwhelming so I didn’t see a problem with sitting in the seats marked as reserved whilst the train was still pretty empty.
“The journey was quiet. We got to have a bit of rest and have a few drinks and some food which the kids appreciated since it was such a long day for them. When people came on looking for their seats I stayed quiet and hoped their seats weren’t ours. A man walked up and down the train a few times before starting to ask people if they could move (so he could see the numbers on the headrests), which I thought was pretty rude when he could easily have just sat in another seat for now (the train wasn’t that full).
“Anyway, it turned out that my daughter was sitting in the seat this guy had reserved and when he aggressively said to her that she was in his seat she kind of looked a bit startled and looked to me. I had been watching this guy be rude to other passengers and I was pretty angry that he’d speak to my daughter the same way, rather than look to me and ask politely.
“She’s seven and is obviously with me.”
The mum continues to say that she told her daughter to stay where she was and explained to the man that there were no other seats where the three of them could sit together – but there were spare seats for him.
“He goes off muttering and I assumed he was going to sit down but he came back a few minutes later with a member of staff and was shouting at this point how we had stolen his seats that he’d paid money for and we weren’t even supposed to be on the train.
“The woman checked our tickets and I explained to her that we were just tired and didn’t think it would have been a problem to sit in the seats whilst the train wasn’t full. To his fury the woman told us not to worry and also suggested that he sit elsewhere.”
She added: “He started shouting about how we had stolen his seat and children weren’t above the law. Long story short he was told that he needed to get off the train at the next stop as he wasn’t welcome on the service. At this point, both of my kids were pretty shaken and I regretted the whole journey but wasn’t sure what I could even do at this point.
“Was I the a**hole here for creating this situation, part of me thinks this man was just crazy and was going to cause an argument with somebody even if it wasn’t us but I’m not sure?”
More than 2,600 people responded to the Reddit post, with many agreeing the mum was in the wrong.
One person said: “YTA. He paid for that seat, and your level of entitlement is staggering. I’m honestly shocked that the staff member sided so blatantly with you. If the train ‘Wasn’t that full’ why would you sit in the reserved spots?”
Another replied: “I honestly think the staff sided with her because this man had gotten loud. If he hadn’t, I think OP would have been made to move.”
A third wrote: “You were in stolen seats, saw the guy trying to find his seats, said nothing, even though you suspected you were in his seats, then refused to move when he figured it out. You were absolutely the problem. I have three young children and might have sat there when it was empty, but seeing him searching for his seat, I would have spoken up right then and asked if we were in one of his seats. You’re the a**hole. A huge one.”
Someone else added: “All you cared about was what YOU wanted. Angry old man aside I feel bad for the attendant. I bet dealing with both of you caused her to open a bottle of wine when she got home from work.”